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Children Playing Soccer - Minnesota State Referee Committee - Soccer Referees - Become a Referee - Training Program


  • What are the requirements to certify as a futsal official?
    You must complete either the new futsal grassroots course or the returning futsal grassroots course on the USSLC to certify. You will only be presented with the course for which you are eligible when you search for futsal courses on the USSLC.
  • When will I be approved for futsal?
    Unlike soccer referee re-certification, futsal re-certs must be approved manually. This is done every Sunday. Once you complete all of the assignments for your futsal course on the USSLC, your futsal license will be issued the following Sunday.
  • How do I become or re-certify as a referee assignor?
    Instructions for assignor certification can be found here in video or PDF format.
  • How much does it cost to become an assignor?
    We charge $10 through the US Soccer Learning Center. However, all assignors have to pay the MInnesota State Admin fee of $40 as well. If you have registered as a referee, that fee is included in your Referee registration costs. If you do not plan to register as a referee, please use the Contact Us page to notify the SRA so she can arrange to have you mail in a check to satisfy that requirement.
  • How do I find fustal leagues and games to work?
    Please use the Assignor List to look up clubs and leagues for match assignments.
  • I have never refereed before. How do I become a referee?
    We provide a downloadable PDF with step-by-step instructions on how to certify. Visit our Become a Referee page to learn more.
  • I am returning as a referee for this year. What steps do I need to complete to re-certify?
    We provide a downloadable PDF with step-by-step instructions on how to recertify for returning officials. Please visit this page to learn more.
  • I was certifed with US Soccer previously but I did not certify last year. Can I just recertify for this coming season?
    Yes. You can skip one year on your certification and then come back the following year, and you can go through the simpler recertification process.
  • I was certified with US Soccer previously but my certification has been lapsed the last two years or longer. Can I just recertify for the coming season?
    No, US Soccer requires any lapsed certifications of two years or longer to go through the new referee training process.
  • I am certified with high school (MSHSL, WIAA, other) and/or college as a soccer referee. Is there an abridged process for soccer officials from other certification bodies (such as simply going through recertification) instead of having to go through new referee training?
    No. US Soccer only accepts US Soccer Referee certification as a qualifier for returning officials being able to use the recertification process, and there are no abridged processes for experienced soccer officials who have used other certifications. You will need to certify as a new referee.
  • I signed up for a class in the US Soccer Learning Center but cannot attend that class any more. How do I switch to a different class?
    Please visit this page to request a class change. The USSLC does not allow users to unregister themselves from courses.
  • Where do I get my referee jersey and/or equipment?
    In the Twin Cities the best source for referee uniforms and equipment is Planet Soccer. There are four locations: Blaine, Burnsville, Maplewood, and Minneapolis (on Lake Street). You can also order full referee kits online from various vendors. Official Sports is the official sponsor of US Soccer and takes lead on referee uniform design. They have a large catalog of both uniforms and equipment, also feature kits that include all of the equipment you will need to referee (men, women).
  • What jersey color should I get for my first kit?
    Yellow is the standard starter color and the most commonly used jersey for officials around the United States. You will probably see the yellow jersey worn over 95% of the time on soccer fields around the state. MNSRC does not recommend alternate colors over others. Different areas of the state may prefer one color over others as a secondary jersey, so we recommend you ask your assignor or other referees in your area if there is a preferred second color.Officials who hope to work at higher levels will eventually need all five official colors (yellow, black, red, blue, green) in BOTH short and long sleeve versions. However, this is a BIG investment is absolutely NOT necessary for a first-year official.
  • I have finished my class and have been licensed. When will I receive my badge?
    Badges are typically mailed out within 2-4 weeks of licensure for new officials.
  • How do I find a referee assignor?
    We keep an updated list of assignors, the clubs/leagues they assign for, and their contact information here.
  • Do I need to complete a background check to get a US Soccer referee license?
    If you are 18 years old or older, you must have an approved NSIC background check completed on the US Soccer Learning Center. If you completed this check for a US Soccer coaching license, that check should carry over automatically to your referee licensing process.
  • I just turned 18... how soon do I need to submit to a background check?
    The USSLC gives individuals a two week window once they turn 18 to submit to a background check. After two weeks, if the individual has not completed the check their referee license is suspended until the check is submitted and completed.
  • Can I renew my background check before it expires?
    Yes, the USSLC allows you to submit a new background check once you are within 6 months of your current check expiring. However, keep in mind the new check will be good for 24 months from date of submission, NOT 24 months from the current check's expiration. If your check expires in November and you submit a new check in August, the new check will expire 24 months from August (meaning you will have "wasted" 3 months of the original check).MNSRC recommends renewing your background check 3-4 weeks before expiration.
  • How much does a background check cost?
    The NSIC check on the USSLC is $30 and is good for 24 months (2 years). This is as opposed to the old background check process that was performed through the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association that was $17 and was only good for 12 months. The USSLC also accepts payment for the NSIC check directly by credit card, as compared to the MYSA check that required the user to mail in a check to MYSA.
  • Why do I have to do a background check on the USSLC?
    US Soccer will not accpt background checks from other agencies for the purpose of obtaining US Soccer licenses (referee or coaching). If you wish to obtain a US Soccer referee license, you must complete the NSIC check on the USSLC. You cannot import a check from another agency into the USSLC.
  • How can I look up my old data from the old MNSRC site?
    You can access this by logging into our archive site, The user name and password on the archive site will be identical to what you used on the old website.
  • What happened to the presentation content on the MNSRC website?
    Most of the presentations with current information will be provided through the MNSRC Education page on the new website. These are free to access but are no longer tracked for use and credit.
  • What happened to the Tier System on the old MNSRC website?
    The tier system required referees have accounts on the MNSRC website. As MNRSC no longer requires accounts on our site, we can no longer track use of the Tier system, so it has been depricated.The Laws quizzes will be maintained on the new site but performance will no longer be tracked. The Tier Topics will be preserved on the new MNSRC Education page, but no longer will be credited or tracked. Fitness work will no longer be tracked. Zoom sessions will still be scheduled in the spring, with the sign-up process to be determined.
  • As a referee, how can I connect with an assignor?
    MNSRC will provide a list of assignors and competitions (leagues and clubs) they assign for on their website with contact information. That information is available on our Assignors page.
  • As an assignor, how can I confirm a referee is certified?
    Assignors have to use the USSLC Directory to confirm that referees are eligible to be assigned.
  • The USSLC Directory can only confirm the certification of one referee at a time, and requires they be looked up periodically to make sure they remain certified. This is rather impractical, isn't it?
    US Soccer establishes the extent of services provided on the Learning Center. If you have ideas for additional services or applications that can or should be developed, please contact US Soccer at
  • How do I access the US Soccer Learning Center?
    The URL for the US Soccer Learning Center is
  • I am locked out of my USSLC account... why?
    Technical support for the USSLC is provided directly by US Soccer. The Support page URL is: Please be advised that USSLC support communication can be slow.The most common cause of USSLC lockouts is failure to confirm your email address. If you are under 18 and had to submit a parent's email address, BOTH addresses must be confirmed with 24 hours of account creation or the account will be locked. If your USSLC account has been locked due to failure to verify the primary or both email addresses, you need to use the USSLC Contact Us form to unlock the account.Full instructions on creating a USSLC account are provided by US Soccer here:
  • I can no longer attend the entry course I signed up for... how do I switch to another class?
    You can fill out the form on this page to request to be removed and/or switched to another class. You cannot unregister yourself from a course in the USSLC.
  • I've done the entire Grassroots Course but it is not giving me credit... why not?
    The design of the USSLC Grassroots Entry course is such that you have to engage with EVERY interaction within each module to get credit for that module. For some modules there can literally be dozens of interactions that have to be clicked on to complete the module. If you are not getting credit for a module, it's probably because you skipped an interaction.For example, in Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) there is a section that shows you two cards, yellow and red, with a checkmark on each: If you do not click on both checkmarks to read the revealed text, the course will not consider you as having completed this module. Again, be sure you utilize EVERY interaction throughout the course to ensure you get credit for each section
  • Do I have to pay before I start?
    You have the option of trying the US Soccer Grassroots Course before you pay on the Learning Center. You will need to set up an account on the Learning Center if you want credit later. Log into your account, then follow the link below to watch the course and receive credit to your account. US Soccer Grassroots Online Course Watching this course is PART OF the requirements to become a referee... it DOES NOT ENCOMPASS ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS. If you wish to referee matches next summer, you will need to complete the full requirements.
  • Where can I view the list of available classes?
    All available entry classes are posted on the US Soccer Learning Center. Please navigate to to view them. You may need to sign up for a free account to access the list.
  • How do I sign up for a class?
    When you register on the US Soccer Learning Center for your course, you will select a class when you register. Full class details (date, site, time) are provided when you register for the Grassroots Course
  • All of the classes on the US Soccer Learning Center are full. Will there be more?
    MNSRC adds classes regularly to the USSLC. Check the USSLC frequently for new additions.
  • There are no referee classes being held in my immediate area... how can we get more classes so I do not have to travel for a class?
    MNSRC works with different areas of the state to provide classes based on the needs of those areas. Outstate areas often do not need as many officials, so opportunities in communities outside the Twin Cities may only happen once a year. We recommend you check with your local clubs and leagues to find out when they work with MNSRC to provide referee training and ensure you can get a spot in those classes to reduce your travel.
  • I am a new referee candidate... do I need to do the background check on the Learning Center?
    The background check is only required for referees and referee candidates who are 18 years old or older. When you turn 18, the USSLC will notify you of your need to complete the check, and if you fail to do so you will have your license suspended.If you are 18 years old or older, you will need to complete the check as part of the certification process, even as a new referee.
  • Can I attend a Zoom session instead of attending a classroom for new referee training?
    No. MNSRC does not offer Zoom sessions as a substitute for the classroom session.
  • How come there are not enough seats available in new referee classes?
    MNSRC has tracked seats, registration, and attendance in new referee classes for the past 12 years. The number of classes and seats offered typically exceed the amount used in a given registration year by about 50%. Regrettably, clubs and leagues often fail to push referee training evenly throughout the year, and this leads to a rush on seats at the end of a clinic season. We cannot recommend strongly enough the need to be flexible and willing to attend a class at any point they are offered throughout the year.
  • Do I need to submit a background check when I recertify, and if so, how often?
    US Soccer requires its NCIS background check to be performed every two years for any official who is 18 years old or older. The check is run from within the USSLC
  • Do I need to attend a classroom session to recertify?
    No. Recertification does not include a required classroom or Zoom session.
  • When will I receive my badge?
    New certifications are processed weekly on Sundays. While the USSLC issues a license immediately, the state approved list sent to assignor and badge mailing lists are generated each Sunday. Assigonrs can still confirm your eligibility to offociate immediately after being issued your license by the USSLC by using the Directory on the USSLC. You should receive your new badge within 2-4 weeks after issuance of your license.
  • How quickly can I pursue upgrade to Regional Referee after I become a Grassroots Referee?
    You have to have been a Grassroots Referee for a minimum of three (3) years before you can pursue upgrade to Regional.
  • Is there a game requirement to upgrade to Regional Referee?
    You have to have completed 25 games as a referee and 15 games as an assistant referee in adult amateur USSF-affiliated matches. For a list of USSF-affiliated adult leagues in Minnesota, please check out the Minnesota Soccer Association website.
  • What are the additional certifcation requirements to upgrade to Regional Referee?
    Candidates must meet the time of service and game count requirements BEFORE the year they are eligible to upgrade. Candidates must also pass the US Soccer Regional Referee Fitness test before they can be eligible to attend any upgrade courses, take the National Referee test, or be assessed.Candidates must complete the Regional Referee Training course and an in-person field training session. Minnesota does not hold these yearly, as it depends on how many candidates for Regional Referee the state has. If Minnesota is not holding a course in a given year, qualifying candidates may be referred to neighboring states for the course. Candidates must pass the National Referee test. If the candidate meets all other requirements, they will need three (3) referee (not AR!) assessments performed by three (3) different assessors. Two (2) of the games must be adult matches. The third game may be an adult match or a U18/19 youth match (limited to MLS Next or State Cup/Youth Regional matches), but can be a third adult match as well.
  • What are the game count requirements to become a National Referee?
    Candidates must have forty (40) referee assignments and twenty-five (25) AR assignments in USSF-affiliated adult matches. Candidates must also have maintained the Regional Referee license for the two years prior to national candidacy with no lapse in Regional certification.
  • What are the additional requirements to upgrade to National Referee?
    You must attend and complete a National Camp (invite-only, upon approval of your candidacy). You must pass the National Referee test. You must pass the US Soccer National Referee Fitness Test administered at the state level. National Referees are typically expected to run and pass the test at National Camp as well. You must pass three (3) assessments in the track you choose to pursue (either Referee or Assistant Referee). Each assessment must occur on an adult match and be performed by a different National Referee Coach. Candidates are encouraged to have as many assessments as possible... three is the minimum, but more passing assessments from different National Referee Coaches can improve the odds of promotion.
  • Where can I buy a uniform?
    Referee uniforms are readily available online from US Soccer's referee uniform sponsor, Official Sports International. There are many other online vendors as well. In the Twin Cities, Planet Soccer sells OSI referee gear, with locations in Blaine, Maplewood, Burnsville, and Minneapolis.
  • What is the preferred color for soccer referee jerseys?
    Yellow is considered the first-choice standard for soccer officials. You will see yellow worn by 95% of officials around the state, and the only time you will usually see alternate colors is due to one of the teams wearing yellow, necessitating an alternate jersey for the crew.
  • What is the first alternate color choice besides yellow?
    MNSRC does not recommend any of the other four alternate color jerseys over the others. However, certain areas of the state may prefer one color as a "standard" secondary color, so we recommend talking to other officials or referee assignors in your area when buying an alternate color jersey.
  • Is the badge required?
    All referees should wear a current-year US Soccer Referee badge when officiating. It assures the players and team officials that you are certified in the current year. Failure to wear your badge is unprofessional.
  • Can I wear a pink or other jersey not considered one of US Soccer's acceptable colors?
    When working US Soccer-affiliated matches you should only wear jersey colors that are listed by US Soccer as acceptable. Wearing colors not among the five listed (yellow, black, red, blue, green) is considered unacceptable.
  • I have a jersey/shorts that has a logo of another governing body... can I wear that instead of the US Soccer-loged uniform items?
    If you are working a US Soccer-affiliated match, you should not wear any uniform that displays a logo of an alternate governing body. Wearing NISOA/MSHSL/WIAA logoed items while working US Soccer-affiliated matches is considered unacceptable.
  • Do I need all of the official colors for jerseys?
    In Minnesota the yellow jersey is considered the primary color. You are not required to purchase any of the other four colors (black, red, blue, green), but if you work matches with teams that wear yellow you will need an alternate color and should try to match with other officials in your area who will work that team.If you hope to officiate at higher levels, you should eventually acquire all five colors in BOTH short and long sleeve versions. However, that is an expensive investment and is only expected for officials who hope to advance to the highest levels of soccer in the US.
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